08/20/2011 2:32PM

Saratoga: Hough on the fence regarding Tar Heel Mom's status for Ballerina

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Barbara D. Livingston
Tar Heel Mom is a six-furlong specialist, but trainer Stanley Hough is considering the seven-furlong Ballerina at Saratoga.

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – Trainer Stanley Hough will spend the next several days weighing the pros and cons of running Tar Heel Mom in Saturday’s Grade 1 Ballerina.

Tar Heel Mom, impressive winner of the Grade 2 Honorable Miss earlier this month, worked a half-mile in 47.66 seconds over the main track on Saturday morning. Afterwards, Hough said he is 50-50 to run Tar Heel Mom in the Ballerina. The seven-furlong Ballerina figures to come up with a short but select field that will include Sassy Image and Hilda’s Passion.

“She worked well this morning,” said Hough as he began to recite both the pluses and minuses of starting Tar Heel Mom in the Ballerina. I hate to run her seven-eighths but the fact it’s going to come up a small field really helps. With our filly you pretty much have to commit to the lead but Hilda’s Passion is very fast and the two of them don’t exactly complement each other. Then again, Tar Heel Mom loves Saratoga and since she’s going to be retired at the end of the year this will be our last chance to run her there. We’ll spend the next several days hashing it out. If we decide to enter, then it’s more than likely we’re going to run.”

Entries for the Ballerina will be drawn along with the remainder of Saturday’s Travers day program on Wednesday.

Sassy Image razor sharp in Ballerina drill

Dale Romans will have two good shots in Grade 1 races here Saturday. In addition to running Shackleford in the Travers, Romans will send out Sassy Image in the Ballerina. On Saturday, she tuned for that race with a bullet five-furlong move in 58.66 seconds, the fastest of 37 moves at the distance.

“When she’s good, she works fast,’’ Romans said.

Sassy Image has won three straight graded stakes, including the Humana Distaff and Princess Rooney – both Grade 1’s.

– additional reporting by David Grening